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May 12, 2023

Is ComPol Chester Williams Overstepping Authority in Police Department?

As we said, P.S.U.’s presidential tour also took them to the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries, as well as the Belize Police Department. And, according to Flowers, during the tour they found out that the Commissioner of Police may be overstepping his authority in the execution of his administrative duties. Flowers says, while on the tour, Minister Usher conceded that it is a matter that must be looked into. Here is how he explained it.


Dean Flowers

Dean Flowers, President, P.S.U.

“On the tour, what we found out what was interesting is our visit to the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries and specifically within the police department. I think that what we uncovered there is that there’s a mismatch between the commissioner of police and public officers and his oversight over public officers. I think that the ministry and the minister had to concede that that is something they have to look at. The commissioner is primarily tasked, yes, he is a head of department, we cannot take that away from him, but his primary role and functions, of course, is to oversee the department, the police officers in that department, and to decide how those police officers are allocated across the country. But we were seeing some conflict in how the civilian staff that supports that department are managed. We see whereby senior officers are assigned to oversee these civilian staff, and I don’t know if it’s because they may lack the managerial skills required to properly administrate the public officers in that department. We see where there’s a lot of conflict in how the civilian staff are managed, and there are times when instruction, the department is a department of order and instruction, but some of these instructions sometimes are not in line with the public service regulation, they’re in line with how the police force or police department operates. And so, it is very important that we look at that and we reassure the officers there that we will be looking at that to see how we can perhaps streamline or correct that, that mismatch because in some cases it can become very abusive.”

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